Category Archives: fossil fuels

5 Benefits of Solar Panels for Schools and Universities


For most people, solar panels are synonymous with residential and commercial use. People put solar panels on their homes to cover electric bills, and augment their commercial buildings to draw new business and “go green.” But what happens when solar panels are added to the layout of schools or universities? Today, solar panel installations in schools are becoming more popular.

As it does, it’s decreasing the environmental impact of these institutions and making them greener and more eco-friendly. In many cases, eco-friendly universities may also see increased enrollment and greater interest levels across the student base.

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Thanks to these perks, it’s a trend solar installers, students, teachers, and citizens alike can expect to see much more of.

Why Should my School go Solar? 5 Smart Reasons

Solar panels for schools have many benefits. In addition to decreasing an institution’s carbon footprint, solar panels also generate a great deal of power. Here are a few of the most significant benefits of solar panels for schools:

1. Solar Panels Work Well on Most University Roofs

Most residential homes have pitched roofs, which can make adding solar panels difficult. Universities and schools, on the other hand, typically have flat, expansive roofs made of materials that are ideal for solar panel installation.

In addition to providing plenty of open, unshaded space for solar panels to work to their highest potential, these roofs are also unlikely to feature sensitive materials, like wood shingles, which can make solar installation more challenging. Since roof angle and material have a major impact on the effectiveness of solar arrays, this is excellent news for any college or university that wants to install panels.

2. Solar Power Will Reduce Operating Costs for the School

Electric prices have risen over the past ten years. Because they use a great deal of electricity, schools and universities have been some of the primary victims of these price hikes.

Fortunately, solar power is a free source of energy, found in abundance throughout the world, and advanced technology and skilled installers have made it even more accessible for institutions.

In fact, colleges and universities have access to some of the least expensive (in terms of cost-per-watt) systems available. As systems get larger, their cost per watt price falls. This means colleges and universities can enjoy affordable power without the guessing game of the grid.

3. Solar Power Could Help Boost Enrollment

Solar power is cutting-edge and attractive to eco-minded students, teachers, and supporters. As such, a college or university that installs a solar panel system could easily see an increase in enrollment.

This is especially true in competitive areas, where having solar panels on a building could be the factor that distinguishes one university from its competitors in the eyes of potential enrollees.

When modern students choose schools, many of them look for options that offer environmentally-conscious practices, renewable power, and eco-friendly facilities. As such, some colleges and universities have even established Sustainability Offices designed to drive the institution’s green initiatives forward.

When these things all come together at a single institution, it’s easy for that school to gain a reputation for innovativeness and creativity.  Not only do solar panels produce energy, but they also stand out as a unique social and cultural symbol.

4. Solar Power Provides Unlimited and Reliable Energy

For universities, schools, and residences alike, solar power systems offer a dependable source of unlimited energy. While fossil fuels are a finite source of energy, solar power is not. Designed to work on cloudy days, in part sun, and even in wintery environments, solar panels can generate a significant amount of power for universities and schools that install them.

5. Solar Arrays at Colleges Helps Drive Solar Power Forward

To invest in solar panels, people need to see them at work, first. Since universities are busy public places, campuses that install solar panels do the important work of driving the solar industry forward by providing greater exposure for solar arrays. This is especially true for universities that install large, campus-powering systems.

Unless people have the opportunity to see solar panels at work, they can feel relatively strange and alien. Luckily, students, faculty, and visitors who come into contact with solar panels on university campuses have the opportunity to learn how the arrays work. This helps familiarize people with the panels and, hopefully, inspire them to invest in solar energy on their own accords.

What About Solar Panels for School Grants?

When residential owners want to install solar panels on their homes, they’re eligible for grants from the federal government to help cover the cost. Luckily, the same is true for colleges and universities. Today, there are many different federal programs available to schools that want to install solar arrays.

For example, the Department of Energy introduced the SunShot Initiative in 2011, which supports research and development surrounding solar energy, and establishes projects designed to reduce the cost of obtaining it. In fact, the initiative’s primary goal has been to make the price of solar energy comparable to that of fossil fuel-based electricity by 2020.

Programs like these can go a long way toward offsetting the price of solar installation for schools and universities and making them that much more accessible for establishments that are interested in exploring them.

The Future of University Solar Installs Looks Bright

Today, colleges and universities have a great deal to gain when it comes to the installation of solar panels. Ideal for reducing energy bills and cutting costs associated with powering a school’s facilities, solar panels are an eco-friendly addition that can also have wide-reaching social and cultural impacts, and companies like Sandbar Solar are installing more and more of them.

When students see a university taking steps to go green and reduce their carbon footprint, it could easily impact the student’s attendance decision and result in higher enrollment numbers for the school.

What’s more, since tax rebates and credits are available for schools that want to install solar panels, it’s an affordable option that will pay off down the road.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

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Oxygen Levels of Oceans Are Decreasing At An Alarming Rate [Recent Study]


It is important to note that dead zones of oceans have multiplied in size since 1950, thus, increasing in 1000 percent rate, according to a recent research that has been published in the Journal of science. This recent research lays more emphasis to climate change and industrial animal agriculture as the main cause in open oceans.

However, dead zones are areas in oceans or seas with a low-level of oxygen. Aquatic animals in these areas are usually affected and hence, they die due to low-level of oxygen. Furthermore, dead zone areas in open waters usually vary in size due to the changes in tides and seasons. Nevertheless, dead zones are always present in areas where excess nutrients are available due to conservative agricultural activities that take place, thus, entering the waterways.

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Also, human activities are majorly the cause of the increase in dead zones. Climate change, on the other hand, is also caused by the emission of fossil fuels – which are also as a result of human activities. The emission of fossil fuels is also responsible for the increase in dead zones in open waters. It is also important to note that, oceans, naturally, have areas that are low in oxygen-levels which occur in the west of continents due to the rotation of the Earth.

Sadly, coastal zones which usually provide jobs for millions of people today are now deserted, due to the intense increase in dead zones. According to a recent study, it has been known that dead zones have increased by an area which is almost the size of the European Union since 1950, where 50 dead zones were stated across the world today.

A recent study made by the mirrors environmental group Mighty’s research from 2017, has also stated that agricultural runoff is the major cause of the largest dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Although, much blames were put on the Americans’ for their love for meat by Mighty’s research especially with red signs from Tyson Foods, which is one of the biggest meat companies in the United States. Thanks to Tyson foods and companies like them, they have contributed to the runoff of nutrients that have resulted in dead zones in open oceans.

“Recent research is no longer a surprise and they have further ascertained that the unimpeded pollution from agricultural industries has attained a critical level and immediate measures are needed to curb the problem,” said Lucia von Reusner, Campaign Director for Mighty Earth.

One question that comes to the mind is how the animal agricultural industry is the main cause of dead zone in open seas. It is important to note that animals that are reared for the production of food produce 130 times more dung than the whole population of humans. However, over 335 million tons of manure at the dry weight is produced by animals in the U.S every year.

Most times, if there are inadequate facilities to take care of the wastes produced from these animals, the manure or dung excreted would definitely end up in the groundwater and then, it will flow into the ocean and accumulate –approximately over 335 million tons of extra nutrient

The accumulation of the dung from livestock is only part of the problem. It necessary to know that there is a reason why this livestock are excreting, and it is due to excess nitrogen and phosphorous. Over 85% of soybean production over the world belongs to livestock feed. It has also been recorded that 80% of processed corn in the U.S belongs to animal feed. With this, you can see that a lot of composts are used to grow farm produce. Also, in 2011, 22 million tons manure were used for farming in the U.S. Forlornly, do you know that only 50% of fertilizers are actually utilized by crops? The rest fertilizers usually runoff into waterways.

Luca von Reusner has this to say, “food industries like Tyson Foods are the leading the drive behind the demand of corn and soy produced foods, which leads to the increase in the number of nutrients in our open waters and seas.

According to a recent survey made by the One World One Ocean, it has been reported that there are over 405 ocean “dead zones”. The increase in the number of dead zones in our open oceans is as a result of the increase in human population and agricultural activities. With more than ninety million acres of corn last year reported by Scientific American, the number of dead zones in open oceans have increased sporadically, thus, threatening the lives of marine animals.

What is the solution to all of these? There are lots of things we can do to stop dead zones. We can start by making the right choice with our diets. Wherever we are, the need to embrace plant-based whole foods are vital. We, humans, have the ability to create a better world for ourselves and our generations to come and the countless of animals on our planet. We can make the right choice by swapping animal-based products to our daily diet.

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Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him. Follow him on Facebook here.

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18 Eco-Friendly Home Projects to Complete in 2018


Do you have any home improvement projects on the radar in 2018? Why not make them eco-friendly? Eco-friendly or environmentally friendly are those products that claim reduced, minimal, or no harm upon ecosystems or the environment. Environmentally conscious updates to your living space can save you money and help preserve the environment.

With just couple of days left for new year to set in, let’s start this new year with some easy and eco-friendly projects that have minimum impact on the environment. Here are 18 eco-conscious home improvement ideas for 2018.

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1. Start Composting

Instead of tossing organic waste into the trash, start a compost pile in your backyard. The EPA estimates nearly 25 percent of the waste dumped into landfills each year could have been composted. Additionally, composting improves soil quality and decreases erosion.

Composting also helps deter pests in your garden. You’ll save cash on pesticide costs, increase your produce yield and grow healthier, more organic food for your family.

2. Give Your Kitchen a Facelift

Are you in the market for a new kitchen? Instead of trashing your old cabinetry and drawers, try re-purposing them and changing their layout. Refinishing old cabinetry and changing out fixtures, knobs and handles is an environmentally friendly way to get a new look without breaking the bank.

3. Upgrade Your Flooring

New flooring can brighten and completely change the look of a room. Make your new choice eco-conscious by choosing linoleum over vinyl. Vinyl flooring can emit VOCs over time, which can degrade indoor air quality and lead to respiratory illnesses. Choose linoleum flooring instead. Linoleum is nontoxic and won’t leach noxious gases.

4. Repaint Your Home With No- to Low-VOC Paint

A fresh coat of paint can make any room look cleaner and more open. While color is important, so is paint quality. Choose a paint brand that won’t emit VOCs, or at the very least, emits them in low concentrations. Standard paints often release toxic VOCs, similar to vinyl flooring. You’ll improve your indoor air quality and your health.

5. Switch to Geothermal Heating

Geothermal systems use the Earth’s stable ground temperature to maintain a comfortable climate in your home. A pump sends liquid 300 feet beneath the Earth’s surface and returns it to a geothermal heater, which then distributes the temperate liquid through the flooring in your home. In the hot summer months, heat is drawn from the air and deposited back into the Earth.

On average, geothermal systems use 80 percent less energy compared to traditional heating systems. Additionally, they don’t require fossil fuels to operate. It’ll take approximately 10 years before your geothermal investment pays off.

6. Purchase Used Furniture

Consignment shops, antique stores and garage sales often offer excellent deals on high-quality, gently used furniture. Purchasing preowned furniture limits the amount of waste that may make it into landfills and usually costs less than newer options.

7. Add Larger Windows

Are you looking for a more drastic change? Add larger windows to your home or change their layout. Optimizing the natural light that enters your home can help lower your energy bill by reducing heating and lighting costs. Larger windows will also help improve air circulation throughout the year, which can help improve indoor air quality.

8. Install Solar Panels

The cost of installing a solar energy system is on the decline, thanks to technological improvements and solar energy becoming a more mainstream option. Additionally, many state governments, in addition to the federal government, offer tax incentives for homeowners interested in converting to solar energy.

Before you make the jump, have an expert or industry professional analyze your home to determine whether it’s suitable for solar panels. Factors to consider include your local climate, the slope of your roof and tree cover.

9. Reinsulate Your Home

New insulation won’t change the overall look of your home, but it will change the overall feel. Insulation degrades over time, leading to gaps in coverage. Poor insulation will allow air to escape from your home and can dramatically increase your heating and cooling costs throughout the year.

Some insulation can last up to 100 years, but leaking roofs, punctures, animals and other factors can drastically reduce this timeline. Review your home’s history and energy bills to determine if your home can benefit from new insulation.

10. Perform an Energy Audit

Hire an energy professional to perform an energy audit in your home to determine where you can make the most impact. Energy auditors review your home to see where you may be losing energy and provide recommendations on where to make the most impact. Energy auditors can help homeowners can save anywhere from 5 to 30 percent on their energy bill.

11. Invest in Energy Star Appliances

Appliances account for up to 30 percent of home energy usage. Switching the appliances in your home to those with the Energy Star label can save you money on your energy bill and help preserve the environment.

The government backs Energy Star appliances and guarantees they will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and operate more efficiently compared to non-Energy Star competitors. When shopping for replacements, check to see whether an appliance has the government-certified Energy Star label.

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12. Do a Little Spring Cleaning

Set aside time to dig through the attic, your closet and the other areas in your home where you’ve been storing unused or unwanted items. Instead of throwing things directly into the trash, donate them to a local thrift store or hold a garage sale to earn some extra cash. Repurposing unwanted items helps keep them out of landfills.

13. Greenify Your Living Space

Houseplants can help improve indoor air quality by reducing carbon dioxide and absorbing airborne toxins, including benzene and formaldehyde. Not all plants are created equal, however. Spider plants, snake plants and rubber trees are among some of the easiest plants to grow with the best indoor air quality benefits.

14. Switch to Energy-Efficient Windows

Poorly sealed or aging windows can decrease your energy efficiency dramatically. Consider investing in a more energy-efficient option to improve your home’s overall comfort and reduce your energy costs.

If new windows aren’t in your budget, try repairing or updating your existing ones. Improving the caulking around window seals, installing storm windows and adding treatments can also help reduce your overall energy consumption.

15. Install a Low-Flow Toilet

Low-flow toilets use 25 to 50 percent of the water used by conventional toilets per flush. Over one year, the average family of four can save up to 22,000 gallons of water, which translates to nearly $100 in savings on your annual water bill.

A variety of options exist depending on your budget and the type of toilet you’re looking for. Some systems recycle greywater from your sink, leading to further water conservation and even lower water bills.

16. Update Your Landscaping

Adding native plants to your yard can provide additional habitat for local wildlife and reduce your water bill. Local plants are better suited to your environment and won’t require the same amount of water or fertilizer to flourish.

Excess fertilizers can wash off plants and soil in heavy rain events and into local waterbodies. The excess chemicals are harmful to marine life and can lead to an overabundance of algae and other plants, which reduces oxygen levels in the water.

17. Invest in Rain Barrels

Rain barrels capture excess stormwater from your rooftop for future use. They are relatively inexpensive to install and provide a free source of water for use on your lawn or garden.

Additionally, rain barrels prevent excess rainwater from contributing to stormwater runoff. Water flows faster over hard surfaces and can lead to more instances of flooding.

18. Install a Rain Garden

Properly installed rain gardens act as small wetlands. They reduce excess stormwater runoff while the plants neutralize pollutants in the water. When stormwater runoff flows over hard surfaces, it picks up pollutants from oil and gas spills and fertilizers. Rain gardens prevent these contaminants from making their way into water bodies.

With a little effort, you can reduce your family’s carbon footprint and make your 2018 a little bit greener.

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Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him. Follow him on Facebook here.

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New York Takes a Leap on Renewable Energy Sources


New York is taking a leap to divest from fossil fuels. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo together with New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer released separate proposals to divest the pension funds of the state and the city from fossil fuel companies such as oil, gas, and coal.

The state is planning to divest almost $400 billion from the industry with the goal of de-carbonizing pension funds. It’s a huge yet risky move for New York since the state’s Common Fun is the third largest in the United States.

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Different environmentalists and environmental organizations are celebrating this major progress in the global movement for the divestment of fossil fuels. After five years of powerful advocacy from many environmentalists and climate activities, the state and the city have already moved to involve themselves in such proposal.

It is worth noting that these proposals are not just mere assumptions. A study from the Carbon Tracker Initiative states that the Earth can only burn 800 more gigatons of carbon equivalent in order for the Earth to linger under its two-degree Celsius limit.

Another study by the Oil Change International shows that the world would burn around 982 gigatons of carbon equivalent should everyone burn all fossil fuel resources. From both of these studies, one thing remains for sure: the burning of fossil fuels must be stopped as soon as possible if we want to stay under the two-degree Celsius limit.

In a statement, Governor Cuomo said that New York has already made immense strides in securing a clean and renewable energy for the state. With their nation-leading clean energy standard including the development of offshore wind energy and the aggressive investment in the clean technology economy, he continued, moving the Common Fund away from investments on fossil fuel industries will help protect the retirement saving of the people of New York.

Governor Cuomo further mentioned that he was already working with New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli in studying how the $200 billion Common Fund can stop important investment in fossil fuels so that they can further reinvest in renewable sources of energy and a low-carbon economy.

It is worth noting that the pension fund of New York holds shares in more than 50 oil and gas companies. The ExxonMobil alone has been invested with nearly $1 billion. Divesting from various pollution entities like these fossil fuel industries can help achieve the clean energy goals of New York.

Governor Cuomo has cited several examples in recent times where divestment from fossil fuels was being planned out. Norway has intentions of divesting its $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund in gas and oil holdings. Moreover, the World Bank announces that it will stop financing oil and gas exploration after the year 2019. These are huge steps, but they could really be useful in the long run should we want to reduce our carbon footprints.

Meanwhile, Comptroller Singer mentioned that the city of New York is planning to examine ways on how to de-carbonize its portfolio also. He further said that this examination includes divesting current holdings in fossil fuel companies, the feasibility of ceasing additional investment in fossil fuels, and increasing the investments in clean and renewable energy.

Bill McKibben, one of those who has helped launch the divest movement, said that New York has finally taken a huge step towards divesting from fossil fuels. This has been a product of great activism. Moreover, this movement will resonate loud and evident all over the world because such proposal came from the capital of world finance: New York.

It is worth noting that more than 800 institutions represent more than $5.2 trillion in assets have already committed themselves to divest. As a matter of fact, other institutions have already cut their ties with fossil fuel companies. These include Columbia University, American Museum of Natural History, and Barnard College.

Rachel Rivera also praised the governor and the comptroller for their plans. The New York Communities for Change member congratulated the lawmakers for making New York the leading state in the country to fight against climate change. She stated that investing public funds in sources of climate destruction such as fossil fuels does not only bankrupt the state morally, but it is also a bad finance.

Neither of the proposals has given an end date for the proposed 100 percent divestment. Stringer mentioned that his office will still be bringing his plan to the New York City pension fund trustees for the coming weeks for deliberation. Cuomo, on the other hand, said that he would partner with New York State Comptroller Tom Dinapoli to establish an advisory committee to create and design a de-carbonization roadmap.

Either way, it is worth noting that these two proposals will have a significant impact on New York and to the rest of the world.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him. Follow him on Facebook here.

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France Bans Extraction of Fossil Fuel by 2040


France becomes the first country to pass a law which bans any extraction of fossil fuels in all of its constituent territories by 2040. This includes fracking or any other form of extracting shale gas and fossil fuels.

Passed by the French National Assembly, this law also prohibits the awarding of any new permits to extract fossil fuels, while existing licenses of companies will not be able to renew past 2040. This means, oil production in France and all of its territories will finally come to an end.

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This freshly legalized regime will make France the first nation within the European Union and the rest of the world to commit to an outright ban on oil gas and oil production.

Moreover, this newly passed law is in line with the goal of French President Emmanuel Macron to make France the leader in the switch to renewable energy. As a matter of fact, he has always been vocal about his ambitions to make France as the leading nation in the drive towards a sustainable use of energy following the opposing decision of the United States regarding the issue.

However, it is worth noting that France imports 99% of its fossil fuel requirements. Within the country and its territories, just over 800,000 tons of oil are produced a year. Saudi Arabia can extract the same amount of oil in just a few hours. These data mean that the bill will only make a small effect on the global scale since there is only a small portion of fossil fuels that are extracted across the country and in overseas territories. Because of this law, the fossil fuel exploration in Guyana, A territory of France in South America, will be directly affected.

Taking the data aside, the law is still a significant step in fighting against climate change. Delphine Batho, a socialist lawmaker, hoped that the outright ban would inspire nations with bigger oil productions to follow suit.

Since President Macron took his office mid-2017, he has committed his drive to shut down all coal power plants in France by 2023. He is even deciding to put an end to the sale of diesel cars and petrol by 2040. Moreover, France has also announced its intention to close up to 17 nuclear power plants by 2025. While these power plants provide the country with most of its zero-emissions electricity, the ultimate goal is to replace these sources with renewable ones and not pollution producers.

France, under the leadership of Macron, is also luring climate scientists of the United States with $70 million worth of grants, after nearly 2,000 American researchers applied for such grants. These researchers are said to have experienced the devaluing of science under the administration of Trump.

Shortly after the announcement of the United States to withdraw from the Paris Climate Change Agreement, France has launched their version of President Trump’s slogan called, “Make Our Planet Great Again.” The campaign stresses the commitment of France in achieving climate and energy transition within its territory, as a nation within the European Union, and as a leading country at the international level.

Nicolas Hulot, the ecology minister of France, says the ban will ensure consistency between the laws and the climate commitments of the country under the Paris Climate Change Agreement. He further mentioned that to remain below the two-degree Celsius limit, the country must leave most of fossil fuel sources underground.

Similar to the statement of Delphine Batho, Hulot also mentioned that while the production of gas and oil is outweighed by the country’s consumption of imported energy sources, France remains to be the first country to take such measures that will hopefully have a contagion effect with the rest of the world.

However, such news is not taken lightly by environmental organizations in France. Apparently, there are signed contracts for gas and oil extraction by the French government that predate the ban. Canceling these obligations could have corresponding financial penalties. According to Juliette Renaud, a fossil fuel industry expert with Friends of the Earth, there are around 55 exploration licenses that may have been previously approved. These licenses will likely be extended.

Renaud further mentioned that 132 extraction permits are still awaiting approval. She argued that if the French territories and the rest of the world will continue to exploit conventional hydrocarbons, it may be difficult for the nation to help keep the global temperatures from rising above two degrees Celsius.

At the moment, it is still too early to gauge the results of such law. However, it is worth noting that every little bit of action would be essential to inhibit the apparent dark future of the environment that we are starting to notice. Moreover, this symbolic ban may be a crucial step, especially that the United States has already committed itself to renew its dying coal industry.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

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Don’t Blame God or Nature. We are the Leading Cause of Natural Disasters.


Often times, we have often said most events that occur naturally were caused by God or they are natural disasters. One question that comes to the mind is, what is natural about events such as climate-induced disasters that occur today? It is important to note that since the mutiny of “Anthropocene” which is an era when species have become the main influence of the alteration of the earth’s biological, physical, and chemical properties, man has been using fossil fuels to empower the growth of technologies and since then, with the rise in human population, it has caused an insatiable need for the consumption of these fuels. As a result of these activities, we are now solely responsible for the catastrophic concerns that are occurring today.

Right now, the density of water in big dams and the process of drilling deep in the earth before water is injected into the rock at a very high pressure (fracking) are one of the leading causes of natural disasters such as earthquakes. Also, actions such as draining water-logged areas, the reduction of water for industrial farming, production of plastics and certain chemicals, the pollution of aquatic bodies/habitat with nitrogen, deforestation, and the use of environmentally harmful methods for fishing, all combine to cause a change in the environment. Not only that, these practices have also caused an extinction of some species in our world today since the disappearance of dinosaurs about millions of years ago.

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However, even though we are the real perpetrators of these bad occurrences that are happening with our climate and also events like earthquakes, the extinction of species etc. We have decided to shift the blame to God or to natural disasters. It is also important to know that recently, humans have placed bounties and a rule to kill certain species such as wolves, seals, and basking sharks.

The insects which are obviously the most important group of animals in our ecosystem are also been affected by man’s activities, and this includes the production of pesticides and insecticides to eliminate their existence. One the famous pesticide known today is neonicotinoids–  are sensitive to bees which are vital pollinators. Forests that have existed a long time ago are called wild forests, while farms that substitute them, later on, are called a normal forest.

Do you know that there are lots of places on earth that are vital to the ecosystem that needs protection?  Hence, places like the temperate forest that cuts across Alaska and Northern California is one of the infrequent biomes on earth. The trees in this place have been annihilated in the U.S.

Lots of environmentalists have advocated on protecting the remains of this place, and as a result of their advocacy, they have been called “gluttonous”. Not only where environmentalist called “gluttonous”, they were called “enemies of BC” by Former BC Premier, Glen Clark. Furthermore, names like “eco-terrorists” and “radicals” were names given to environmentalists who want to salvage the environment.  But do you know that the real enemies are those who rush to cut-down trees, and destroy the atmosphere without putting the environmental consequences that might occur in mind?

It is sad to know that we have totally overlooked what the word “ecology” and “economy” mean. Both words mean a “domain” or a place we live and thrive in. Due to the fact that humans are always looking for ways to use their environment, they aren’t specific to a particular domain or environment. And as result, we can now live in any place that we choose for ourselves such as mountains, rocks, deserts, jungles, etc. Environmentalists try to look for factors that enhance the survival of species in their environment. While Economists are empowered to “supervise” our activities within our habitat.

People like the Prime Minister of the United States of America have their says that it is impossible to set up policies in order to reduce the release of greenhouse house gases which have detrimental effects on the economy. These set for people have a certain belief that the economy is very important than the atmosphere that influences the weather and climate.

In the same vein, lots of economic conservatives protest against a proficient market solution to climate change, such as carbon pricing, but do you know that market pricing is a good solution for climate change? An instance is the carbon pricing in Sweden which involved a tax of $35 a tonne in 1991, and this made an increase to the economy of Sweden to about 60% by 2012, thus reducing the release of greenhouse gases to about 25%. The tax has been increased to more than $170 to date.

On a concluding note, we all know the effects of climate change on our economy due to the increase in the use of fossil fuels and the emission of greenhouse gases.  However, these agents are the main factors of some bad happenings such as the monstrous wildfires (Kelowna, Fort McMurray), loss of glaciers, etc. All these events aren’t natural, instead, they are induced by man as a result of certain activities. Hence, we need to take responsibility and tackle these problems once and for all.

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Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

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Recent Climate Study: Severe Forecasts on Global Warming Could Be Accurate


Reports on global warming are not new all over the world today and events that contribute to climate change include the burning of fossil fuels to foster the growth of our economy. It has also been discovered that by 2100, the earth will be 15% warmer than it should. Also, the growth of indecision of disconsolate projections has been narrowed also. However, it is important to note that lots of climate models have been made so far and these models project that the amount of climate change in this century is the ones that support current observations.

Furthermore, the use of climate models is to project how much warming is taking place and what we should expect when there is an increase in the concentration of gases like CO2 ( Carbon dioxide) and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

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Recent research has affirmed that the uncertainty of global warming is narrow, which means that the future looks dire for us.

Climate researchers who have worked on global warming had already proposed that there is a 62% chance of the earth becoming warmer on average by more than 4 degrees Celsius if there are no policies or measures to control the emissions of greenhouse gases. With a recent climate study, the uncertainty of global warming has been narrowed and it is now estimated that by 2100, there will be a 93% chance that global warming will exceed 4 degrees Celsius.

Moreover, many nations of the world had a meeting in Paris in 2015 and they made a joint decision to curb the rise of global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius; even at this temperature, the state of global warming can still pose a great danger to the earth. However, one degree higher to this temperature is cataclysmic. And an increase above 5 degrees Celsius could pose a total change to the world or may even end it.

It is also important to note that two United State researchers made a report in the journal Nature. They made use of several climate models for the projections which were proposed by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and they also aligned the reasons against some opinions that were made.

In the report also, a detailed look was done on the differences in seasonal and monthly climate, the utilization of energy, the emissions of greenhouse gases, and how they affect temperatures. Furthermore, there have also been some contentions about how accurate these climate models work and how they can be used to forecast the world’s climate in the next centuries to come. With this, it has been affirmed that the future looks dire for us if nothing is done on global warming.

A researcher from the Stanford University of California has said that with the results gotten by them, it does not make sense to discard the forecasts made on global warming probably due to the fact that the models used are imperfect in their imitation to the way the climate looks now.

More truths

Researchers from the Stanford University of California have proposed that they are trying to show that the faults of the climate model can be used to discard predictions that are not severe. They have also stated that their results which were gotten by them suggest that if the world is to achieve a total stabilization of global temperature, then there is a need for a drastic decrease in the emissions of greenhouse gases that were previously envisaged.

With these statements and affirmations, it has been known that the use of climate models are essential as the use of climate data itself and that the basis of uncertainty could be the effect of warming. This means that there will be more evaporation to a warmer earth; which implies that the warmth of the earth is captured in the atmosphere which could cause an increase in the radiation of the sun.

For many years now, lots of research have been done in order measure with accuracy, the links between the emissions of greenhouse gases from the combustion of coal, natural gas, and oil, and the change in the temperature of the earth.

Modest indication

A researcher in Carnegie by name Ken Caldeira has estimated the way in which Carbon dioxide causes global warming in the earth and the way in which greenhouse gases can warm the earth for a long period of time.

However, recent conclusions solely rely on modest indications which is the precision with which climate models can be used to envisage the future of the earth when it comes to climate change.

Ken Caldeira has praised the use of these models that simulate today’s comments and he has also said that these models may be the most reliable forecast for the future of the earth.

Finally, based on a recent research, it has been confirmed that if there are no adequate policies put in place concerning the emissions of greenhouse gases, there is a high chance that global warming will surpass 4 degrees Celsius by the end of this century, which indicates grave danger on the future of the earth.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

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Types, Importance and Examples of Ecology?


Ecology is a branch of biology concerned with understanding how organisms relate with each other and their environment. This branch of biology mainly deals with the relationships between the organisms, their relationships among each other, their relationships towards the shared resources, their relationships with the space they share, and even their relationships with the non-living aspects in the environment.

In understanding the given relationship, ecology encompasses aspects such as population growth, competition, symbiotic ecologic relationships (mutualism), trophic relations (energy transfer from one section of the food chain to the next), biodiversity, migration and physical environment interactions. Because ecology includes all the living organisms on earth and their physical as well as chemical surroundings, it is divided into several categories which bring about different types of ecology as discussed below:

seedling-soil-green-plant-ecology

Types of Ecology

1. Microbial Ecology

Microbial ecology looks at the smallest fundamental levels of life, that is, the cellular level. It involves mainly the first two life kingdoms which are; Kingdom Monera and Kingdom Protista. Here, the connections are made between microbes and their relationships with each other and their environments.

Microbial ecology is particularly important in the analysis of evolutionary connections and events leading to existence (known as phylogeny). These connections help us understand the relationships shared among organisms. It is particularly interested in DNA and RNA structures as they carry most of the information passed along from organisms to their progeny, providing the data ecologists need.

2. Organism/Behavioural Ecology

This is the study of the organism at its fundamental levels and can encompass microbial ecology. In this type of ecology, the main goal is to understand the organism’s behaviours, adaptations for such behaviours, reason for those behaviours as explained through the lens of evolution, and the way all these aspects mesh together.

In this case, the main concern is the individual organism and all its different nuances, especially in trying to understand how it all ties together to enhance the survival of the organism or any beneficial adaptations.

3. Population Ecology

Population ecology is the next rank on the ecological ladder. Population ecology focuses on the population, defined as a group of organisms of the same species living in the same area at the same time. Here, attention is given to things such as population size, its density, the structure of the population, migration patterns, and the interaction between organisms of the same population.

It tries to explain the different changes in each of the dynamics of the population such as why numbers would increase and whether this affects any other aspects of the population such as its density.

4. Community Ecology

Community ecology takes a look at the community, defined as all the populations that live in a given area. This includes all the different species populations. The focus here is usually on the interactions between the different species and how their numbers and sizes all mesh together and how change in one population change the dynamic of the whole community.

The animal populations here are exposed to more complex interactions given their increased species numbers which give rise to dynamics such as trophic relationships (who eats who), space dynamics, migration patterns and the most important ecological driving force when it comes to inter/intra species interaction.

5. Ecosystem Ecology

Ecosystem ecology makes a unique contribution to understanding ecology by adding abiotic (non-living) factors to the items analysed, alongside the biotic (living) factors involved. This interaction therefore involves all aspects of the environment and how they interact.

It includes understanding how things like climate and soil composition affect the behaviours and interactions of populations from different species. It also includes a wide range of factors to better understand the whole aspect of interaction between the living things and their environments/habitats.

6. Global Ecology (Biosphere)

The global ecology is principally important in understanding all the ecosystems affecting the entire globe. This includes all the different biomes, with considerations of aspects such as climate and other environmental geography.

It means, global ecology takes into account the whole world’s biosphere while considering all living organisms from the microscopic to higher lifeforms, the environments they leave in, the interactions that they have with each other, the influences that their environments have on these interactions and vice versa, and finally, how they are all interconnected under the common ground that they all share a single planet – the Earth.

Importance of Ecology

The study of ecology is important in ensuring people understand the impact of their actions on the life of the planet as well as on each other. Here are the reasons why ecology is important:

1. It helps in environmental conservation

Ecology allows us to understand the effects our actions have on our environment. With this information, it helps guide conservation efforts by first showing the primary means by which the problems we experience within our environment begin and by following this identification process, it shows us where our efforts would have the biggest effect.

Ecology also shows individuals the extent of the damage we cause to the environment and provides predictive models on how bad the damage can get. These indicators instil a sense of urgency among the population, pushing people to actively take part in conservation efforts and ensure the longevity of the planet.

agriculture-ball-shaped-ecology-environment

2. Ensures proper resource allocation

Ecology equally allows us to see the purpose of each organism in the web of connectivity that makes up the ecosystem. With this knowledge, we are able to ascertain which resources are essential for the survival of the different organisms. This is very fundamental when it comes to assessing the needs of human beings who have the biggest effect on the ecosystem.

An example is human dependency on fossil fuels that has led to the increase of carbon footprint in the ecosystem. It is ecology that allows humans to see these problems which then calls for the need to make informed decisions on how to adjust our resource demands to ensure that we do not burden the environment with demands that are unsustainable.

3. Enhances energy conservation

Energy conservation and ecology is connected in that, it aids in understanding the demands different energy sources have on the environment. Consequently, it is good for decision making in terms of deciding resources for use as well as how to efficiently convert them into energy.

Without proper understanding of energy facts through ecology, humans can be wasteful in their use of allotted resources such as indiscriminate burning of fuels or the excessive cutting down of trees. Staying informed about the ecological costs allows people to be more frugal with their energy demands and adopt practices that promote conservation such as switching of lights during the day and investing in renewable energy.

4. Promotes eco-friendliness

With all the information and research obtained from ecology, it ultimately promotes eco-friendliness. It makes people aware of their environment and encourages the adoption of a lifestyle that protects the ecology of life owing to the understanding they have about it.

This means that in the long-term, people tend to live less selfishly and make strides towards protecting the interest of all living things with the realization that survival and quality life depends on environment sustainability. Hence, it fosters a harmonious lifestyle and assures longevity for all organisms.

5. Aids in disease and pest control

A great number of diseases are spread by vectors. The study of ecology offers the world novel ways of understanding how pests and vectors behave thereby equipping humans with knowledge and techniques on how to manage pests and diseases.

For example, malaria which is one of the leading killer diseases is spread by the female Anopheles mosquito. In a bid to control malaria, humans must first understand how the insect interacts with its environment in terms of competition, sex, and breeding preferences. The same applies to other diseases and pests. By understanding the life cycles and preferred methods of propagation of different organisms in the ecosystem, it has created impressive ways to device controls measures.

Examples of Ecology

Examples of ecology are simply aspects that seek to study how the various types of ecology come about. For instance, the study of humans and their relationship with the environment gives us human ecology. Alternatively, studying a food chain in a wetland area gives wetland ecology while the study of how termites or other small organisms interact with their habitat brings about niche construction ecology. Here are two basic examples to elaborate examples of ecology in details.

1. Human ecology

This aspect of ecology looks at the relationship between humans and the ecosystem as a whole. It is centred on human beings, studying their behaviour and hypothesises the evolutionary reasons why we might have taken up some traits.

Emphasis is placed on this due to the impact human beings have on the environment and it also gives us knowledge about the shortcomings of the entire human population and how to better ourselves for our own sake and that of the environment.

2. Niche construction

Niche construction is an example of ecology dealing with the study of how organisms are able to alter their environment for their benefit and also for the benefit of other living things. It is of particular interest to ecologists who desire to understand how some organisms overcome the challenges presented to them.

A prime example is how termites are well organized and equipped to erect mound that stand over 6 feet tall while at the same time protecting and feeding their entire population. In going about their niche, ants also recycle nutrients for plants. This presents a good example of ecology because it is all about evolution and other several aspects regarding population, community and ecosystem ecology.

Image credit: pixabay , pexels

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

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